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So when it comes to protein requirement, a lot of us are very confused as to what is really the adequate amount we need to elicit MPS and grow muscle tissue or in some cases preserve muscle tissue (during a dietary phase)


Here I will discuss a few consideration points and hopefully squash this debate on what is really the necessary requirement.


Firstly we know that we are using protein to help stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) which helps signal the anabolic pathways, there is some studies on the important of MPB (muscle protein breakdown) on MPS but that we will leave for another day

So how much protein do we need to consume on a daily bases to maximise MPS?

the recommended daily requirement is 1g/lb or 2.2kg/kg (respectively) so may argue you slightly more and some may argue against slightly less requirements but that is your fundamental baseline to work off.

so for example a 200lb individual will need 200g of protein per day.


Now lets delve into some cool facts and consideration with protein consumption & timing.

On average our Gastrointestinal system most specifically the stomach is where the first mechanical event of hydrolysis (breakdown) of proteins occur via Gastric acid and secretion of pepsin (which breaks proteins down into peptides and aminos)

It takes on average 3-5 hours to breakdown and digestion these foods down in the stomach before they're passed through into the small intestines, but due to the many myths and hypothesis that have been thrown about many individuals (bodybuilders) eat a meal every 2-3 hours on average

With the stomach taking 3-5 hours to hydrolyse and digest these foods, providing that the individual is also chewing efficiently the issue that could arise is individuals shovelling in these meals while not allowing ample time for the preceding meal to be digested efficiently and this can lead to an over spill into the oesophagus causing (acid reflux/bloating/gastro distress)  

So contrary to what many believe that we need to be eating every 2 hours, essentially we should be looking at spacing our meals out more so to allow for sufficient digestion time.

Studies have shown that a bolus of 20g protein induces a higher MPS stimulation every 4 hours in comparison to 10g protein every 1.5hrs or 40g every 6hrs

So ideally 20g of protein is perfectly fine per meal every 4hours providing that the amino profile is comprehensive, meaning a complete protein (all the amino acids) or ideally the essential amino acids with a rich luecine profile 3g. studies have shown 30-40g per meal has shown a small increase in MPS but anything above that is irrelevant and unnecessary.

The only time protein requirement will need to exceed 40g per meal is in 1 of two situations

1) an individual is in a growing phase and energy demand is high they could use protein to bump up their calories

2) an individual is using exogenous GH or insulin, here I would say its deemed ok to increase protein intake.

Now what about BCAA or EAA between meals?

Studies have shown that when MPS hits its threshold and is maximised after 90-120 minutes it will return back to baseline, even if their is still elevated levels of blood amino's circulating in the blood, this is known as muscle fullness, simply where the muscle will not synthesis any more protein

so there is no need to be sipping EAA or BCAA during meals to try and stay in a 24/7 anabolic state, and remember I mentioned that their is some hypothesis to say that MPB plays a key role?


So bottom line is this,

Ensure your allowing sufficient time inbetween meals for digestion and also ensure that you're chewing your food better to help with the breakdown and digestion process.

20g of a complex amino profile is perfectly fine every 3-4hrs and there is no real need to consume EAA or BCAA supplements inbetween the meals and all day long, it will have more impacts on your wallet then your ability to grow muscle.


any more questions regarding this topic please feel free to send them in

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